SEARCH FOR: JOEY BADA$$

Statik Selektah: Mastering The Balancing Act

One of the strongest notions in hip-hop during the early-2010s was the beginning of modern styles within the genre becoming more and more intertwined with those of old, mostly within the grand period of the early-mid 90s. Acts that took this demeanor unto themselves on the mic certainly exuded this spirit in their own right, but it was truly the incredibly resounding production work from a number of different figures at the time who solidified this status as far more than just a passing trend.  A figure who found himself at the forefront of this particular era was Statik Selektah — a tried and true lifelong producer and DJ and truly hit his mark once this decade began to move forward by manifesting that aforementioned spirit in full. His work on production with such acts like Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, and numerous others certainly set the bar for this era at the decade’s inception, and kept it moving throughout the entirety of the historic period all the same.  But now we currently stand in 2020 — at the beginning of a new, tumultuous decade that is far more unprecedented than anything the modern world has seen thus far. Even beyond …

Five Excellent Beat Projects Pt. 3 – [Cookin’ Soul] x [Jazzinuf] x [Leavv] x [Hazy Year] x [Elijah Nang] x [Figub Brazlevič] 

Producers/beatmakers are often unfairly overlooked because of artists. Truth be told, producers are artists themselves, as every instrumental requires its own unique form of craftsmanship, and a precise vision to execute the idea. Without producers, your favorite hit single would simply not sound the same, yet alone exist! Comparable to the clientele work of an artisan or sculptor, when producers craft beats for artists, they must put themselves in another’s shoes to innovate. However, the music of production pioneers Nujabes and J. Dilla demonstrates that instrumentals are entirely separate and complete bodies of work. Applied rapping or vocals are not complements to production, but instead honorary elements that create an alternative version. Therefore, to an extent, the artist serves as a guest feature over the producer’s original creation. To effectively shed greater light to the creative brilliance of producers, I’ve chosen to start a monthly series titled “Five Excellent Beat Projects,” which will highlight five instrumental works that I consider exceptional. This is the third installment of the series. Cookin’ Soul – Carribean Bites – Despite being a Grammy award winning group, the Valencia, Spain based production duo (Big Size & DJ Zock) still somehow seem underrated. With production credits …

The Light – [Joey Bada$$]

Joey Bada$$ is an artist who could be in serious consideration to be the best to come out of the best decade, and probably without a doubt the best to come out of New York since that point, he’s an unbelievably talented creative who we here at Lyrical Lemonade have been big fans of. Personally, Joey is one of my favorite artists of my lifetime, he has released projects that have played as soundtracks to certain points of my life, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that he just dropped a new three-track pack deemed “The Light”. The first record is a dark sounding, massive record where Joey really got into his bag with his shit-talking + braggadocious bars. The second joint “No Explanation” is more of an up-tempo track where Joey airs out what’s been on his mind lately, and It features a stellar verse from the always great Pusha T on the back end! The last of the three songs, “Shine”, is easily my favorite song out of the three. It finds Joey sampling the classic record “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” by the legend Roy Ayers, as soon as I heard the beat I was …

Cookie Chips [Rejjie Snow] x [MF DOOM] x [Cam O’bi]

It’s hard to be believe that “Lost In Empathy,” the first song that I heard from Rejjie Snow, released six years ago. At that time, the Dublin, Ireland artist was just nineteen years of age, touring with prominent names such as Kendrick Lamar, Madonna, and MF DOOM. Despite garnering attention, the identity of Rejjie, however, was oddly compared through the scope of Tyler The Creator. In fairness, the Tyler being compared to Rejjie was during the WOLF era, including all releases prior. Now 2020, perhaps the only credible likening between the two is their nonconformist personalities amid a dull, undifferentiated music industry. When introducing a friend to Rejjie Snow, it’s better to simply let his work do the talking. The sound of Snow fascinatingly varies from dark to mellow, highly capable of interchanging between lyrical hip-hop and pure experimentation. “PURPLE TUESDAY,” an exceptional track featuring Joey Bada$$ and Jesse Boykins, masterfully captures a blend of Rejjie’s qualities, merging expressive lyrics with melodic instrumentation. When the record released in 2017, I was thoroughly impressed by the fitted mold of the collaboration, despite Bada$$’s differing skill-set. Three years later, Snow’s latest collaboration with MF DOOM has provided a déjà vu like listening experience. …

Move Like a Boss – [Fivio Foreign] ft. [Young M.A.]

New York has always been one of the main hubs for Rap music, and they’ve set some of the most massive trends in the entire industry for decades at this point. Although some people think that it isn’t the same place it once was in terms of music, the newer generation of artists thinks otherwise. Obviously, people like Joey Bada$$, Pop Smoke, Lil Tjay, and more all have different styles and characteristics, but they all make some of the greatest music out right now. I found out about another NYC emcee, Fivio Foreign, through his work with Pop and I’ve been a fan ever since. Young M.A., although she’s been in the scene for quite some time now, I have honestly paid less attention to, but I do understand exactly how talented she is as well. Although this duo’s song “Move Like a Boss” came out last month, they decided to team up and shoot a music video, thankfully. First and foremost, the song itself begins with production comprised of an angelic choir singing mixed with heartfelt piano keys. Eventually, chattering percussion and banging 808s enter into the instrumental and create an up-tempo foundation that is right along the lines …

A Conversation With MC Blue Matter: Iconic Crews

Gabriel Amzallag b.k.a. Mc Blue Matter is an artist from Paris, France. MC Blue Matter specializes in album covers, merch design, illustration, and animation. He has made illustrations for the likes of Illa J, Blu & Exile, Curtis roach, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Guilty Simpson just to name a few. MC Blue Matter regularly collaborates with Jakarta records as a graphic designer/illustrator and an a&r. He is a part of the creative talent agency Project FILO, and also regularly writes for The Find Mag. His work has been featured in media outlets such as Complex UK, Earmilk, Beware Magazine, Pitchfork and more. MC Blue Matter’s art draws inspirations from unlikely sources: comic books, African art, hip-hop and impressionism. The idea behind his art is to create something new and diverse that hopefully relates to the people. Read our conversation in full below! For the many Lyrical Lemonade readers tuning in, tell us, who is MC Blue Matter?  MC: I’m a 21 years old artist coming from France. I am specialized in illustrations, animation and graphic design. I work regularly for the music industry, making album covers and animated music videos. People I have collaborated with include Illa J, Guilty Simpson, …

Our 50 Favorite Joey Bada$$ Songs

Every once in a blue moon, an artist will come by in hip-hop that bridges the ever-dividing gap between the new and the old – someone who embodies the best of both, and someone that everyone can agree on. Joey Bada$$ and the Pro Era crew were just that when they first came out. Employing a 90s-influenced style and a classic aesthetic that inspired a generation of artists in New York and beyond, Pro Era had the technical skill and “pure hip-hop” lyricism that one would expect from a 90s act, while they also possessed a sense for style, sound, and group comradery that resonated with current-day listeners. It was an incredible marriage of innovation and influence that came from a crew of artists talented and wise beyond their years, spearheaded by none other than Joey Bada$$: an artist now with several undeniable classics to his name, all the way from pure-as-it-gets hip-hop tracks to high-flying, radio-ready anthems. Frankly, Joey Bada$$ has done it all, and his still-growing contributions to hip-hop – aesthetically, lyrically, sonically, and otherwise – are not to be underestimated. Not often do we get a talent of Joey’s caliber that fans of any age can get behind, …

BQE – [KOTA The Friend] ft. [Joey Bada$$] x [Bas]

No, it’s not summertime yet and yes, we’re all stuck inside but KOTA The Friend is back to make you forget about all that for a few minutes with his latest single, “BQE”. The track marks the first single off his forthcoming album, ‘Everything’, and showcases him alongside his fellow East Coast lyrical masterminds Joey Bada$$ and Bas. It’s one thing for a collaboration to look great on paper and another for it to sound just as good in its execution, and “BQE” exemplifies both of these cases. KOTA, who’s been on a streak with the release of his ‘Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1’ project earlier this year, keeps the momentum escalating on this song. He kicks off the track with one of his one of his most impressive verses to date, attacking the beat with precision while still keeping his lyrical content 100% true to self. Joey Bada$$ and Bas both feed off the young prospect’s energy with two memorable appearances—a gift for any rap fans who’ve been fiending for new top-tier bars from either of them. New York reigns at the center of this song, both in terms of subject matter and overall vibe. From the jump, the …

Pray For Paris – [Westside Gunn]

Griselda Records is taking no prisoners in 2020. From Conway The Machine’s recent collaborative Lulu EP with The Alchemist, to their latest signing Boldee Jame’s The Price of Tea in China album, (also with The Alchemist) it is frightening to think what the group has left in store. Exceptional projects serve as a thorough reminder that music is art and art is music. Westside Gunn has publicly shared via his instagram to never call him a rapper, since he is an artist; I have no objections to his request. Gunn’s latest, Pray For Paris album exemplifies just that, with the cover art responsibility handed to Off-White CEO Virgil Abloh. The cover is specifically an edit of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath painting, with Virgil adding two iced-out necklaces. One necklace is a Jesus Piece and emblem of Westside Gunn as a child; whereas, the other features his present self with a rightful crown on his head. The album’s run time is a balanced forty-one minutes and nineteen seconds, with twelve tracks total not counting the epic “400 Million Plus Tax” introduction, which gave me heavy Uncut Gems PTSD. Ironically, Tyler The Creator mentions Josh Safdie on “327,” referencing the …

1982: The Quarantine – [Statik Selektah] x [Termanology]

Even during a pandemic, creativity cannot be stopped! Not allowing COVID-19 to slow them down, legendary producer Statik Selektah linked up with his fellow Massachusetts native Termanology. Since 2010, the pair have gone under the duo name ‘1982,’ leading up to their best effort yet for The Quarantine, which is a ten track album entirely crafted in the span of eleven hours. Even more impressive is the fact that the making of the entire album was live-streamed, due to the respective artists having to self-isolate in light of the coronavirus. Beyond being an incredible producer and DJ, Statik Selektah seems to always get the absolute best out of the artists he works with, blessing them with his crisp boom-bap influenced sound. Moreover, Statik undoubtedly has a keen sense of who is legit, having worked with numerous greats that were largely underground at the time of their collaboration. Examples include Joey Bada$$/Pro Era, Mac Miller, Freddie Gibbs, Flatbush Zombies, Logic and Ab-Soul. Furthermore, Statik has always received acknowledgement from established hip-hop legends, ranging from Black Thought, Raekwon, Snopp Dogg, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Styles P, Crooked I, Blu, Royce Da 5’9, and more. Split by A and B sides, The Qurantine is …